There’s nothing quite like a successful food and wine pairing when both the wine and dish work together to create a sensory experience greater than either one can offer alone. Asian cuisines have presented a challenge to many of us where matching wine is concerned, but we’ve assembled a list of popular dishes and wine suggestions to drink with them. Whether you’re dining in, ordering take-out, or cooking yourself, the following ideas will help enhance your next meal.
Sushi & Sashimi – Champagne
The precision and elegance of sushi requires a sophisticated wine. Delicate Champagne will make for an exquisite accompaniment whether you’re into sashimi, nigiri, or hand rolls. The tiny bubbles will refresh your palate and allow the clean flavors of fresh fish to shine through.
Beef Teriyaki – Mendoza Malbec
Tender slices of beef combined with the salty/umami flavor of teriyaki sauce will complement an oak-aged Mendoza Malbec. This red wine’s tannins will be softened by the sauce, letting rich flavors of fruit and spice appear more pronounced.
Pad Thai – Mosel Riesling
This stir-fry of rice noodles, egg, tofu, shrimp, fish sauce, and green onion is usually garnished with green onion, chopped peanuts, and sliced lime. A clean, lively white wine like Mosel Riesling will highlight the different textures and flavors in the dish and stand up to the heat of red chili paste if desired.
Cashew Chicken – Pouilly-Fuissé
Often comprised of chicken, bell peppers, cashews, mushrooms, and ginger, this stir-fry will work well with a subtly oaked Chardonnay, such as Pouilly-Fuissé from Burgundy’s Mâconnais district. The wine’s slightly creamy texture and nutty hints are perfect companions to the flavors in this dish.
Crispy Vietnamese Spring Rolls – Sancerre
These golden-brown delights are generally filled with rice noodles, cabbage, mushrooms, and some type of protein (e.g., shrimp, pork, chicken, or tofu) and are particularly delicious to dip in a side of fish sauce with lime and chili. A crisp and refreshing Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre is just the white wine to play off these textures and flavors.
Pho Noodle Soup – Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
The juicy berry flavors and silky tannins of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir are especially delectable with the meaty, slow-cooked broth found in a bowl of this comforting Vietnamese soup. Garnish with lime, jalapeños, and bean sprouts for even more complex taste combinations.
Dim Sum – Provence Rosé
When eating a range of bite-sized foods – such as those served in the dim sum style – choose a wine that pairs well with many dishes. Fruity, mouthwatering Provence Rosé is a food-friendly option to enjoy with dumplings, steamed buns, and various seafood and meat preparations.
Vegetable Chow Mein – Prosecco
This savory stir-fried noodle dish is excellent with the light sparkle of Prosecco from Northern Italy, which will complement the slight crunch of perfectly cooked veggies.
Sweet & Sour Pork – Sauternes
Sweeter foods can be difficult to pair wines with, but in the case of this classic Cantonese dish, the lusciously sweet fruit and honey flavors of Sauternes are an ideal match. This white Bordeaux wine has the depth and intensity to stand up to both the meat and sauce here.
Peking Duck – Napa Valley Merlot
There’s nothing quite like the crispy, succulent texture of Peking Duck. Wrapped in steamed pancakes and served with sweet sauce, velvety, full-bodied Napa Valley Merlot makes a wonderful partner to this celebrated dish from Beijing.
Now that you’re aware of all these amazing wine pairings, the only thing left to do is eat!